Is it really true that when we lie down, let go and look up – magic might happen? When I was a teenager I had an experience related to this inquiry that informs me to this day. Tough times for me at the age of 13. I would often go to my room and put on music to cry to. Confusion, frustration, sadness, loneliness – all the feelings that a young person can lose themselves in. When saturated in a dark mood like this, it can be hard to remember that feelings pass. At that time, my mother recognizing my struggles found some counseling support for me. I went begrudgingly. Soon after that something happened. I came home one night and went into my room, lied down on my back, took a deep breath, and said inside myself “let go and let God” (as my counselor suggested I try) and then looked up. I remember as clear as day – I felt a huge change in my weight. I felt as if a burden of many pounds left my head and my body. I started breathing easier and fell quickly to sleep. The reality and mystery of that experience has never left me.
A few years ago, at a Yoga and Meditation retreat I was leading at the Land of Medicine Buddha, I had a similar experience. On a scheduled hike through the redwoods, as we entered a phenomenal grove of trees laced with rays of sunlight, I invited everyone to lie down on their backs. I softly suggested Lie Down, Let Go and Look Up. Just moments later, still belly up, we all heard these far away rustling sounds. Then noticed the air around us windy, the branches moving and the colors in the sky changing. Before you know it, water was raining on our faces. We got up and scurried our way back to shelter, grinning the whole way.
As we got back into our Yoga Studio that evening it was so wonderful to listen to the rush of insights many had gleaned from that experience. To lie down on the forest floor was not a common thing to do for any of us (we did bring towels to lie on 😉 and, to let go and look up doesn’t sound even a wee bit as profound as it felt. In this instance, doing these small things allowed us to first hand witness with all of our senses the actual “approach” of a storm in all it’s majesty. Saying we felt “one with nature” is to put it mildly. And the timing… magical… In that moment when we looked up and began to breathe easier, the presence of the oncoming storm came into our field of awareness, came onto our radar in a big way.
How does this apply to our daily lives, our relationships, our efforts to grow and know ourselves more deeply? I’ve been working with a related idea recently “slow down and everything that you are chasing will have a chance to come around and catch you”. Be brave. Slow down, breathe – it is possible that whatever it is you think you need to find or have or know is already there just waiting for you to let go and look up. Whether you approach this inquiry concretely or metaphorically – there might be something to it. Give it a try. Call forth the magic.